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Half Girlfriend-Book review

half>> October 13, 2014:  I have always been a Chetan Bhagat fan right from the time I read his first novel; “Five Point Someone”. During the times when syrupy sagas on socialite shenanigans and boring literary enriched tales; claiming to be coated with “intellectual quotient”; were given the title of “Bestseller”, this IIT-IIM passed-out-Investment Banker -turned writer, became the torch bearer in revolutionizing India writing with his light, simple yet thought provoking stories.

“Half Girlfriend” is his latest fiction offering and like his all previous novels the storyline is of course clichéd but emotions are not. In fact this novel has all the fodder that would make a good three hour long 100 crore Bollywood Blockbuster. A poor guy meets a rich girl, falls for her, she leaves him and how he pursues her to win her back being the crest of the story, already told and retold by the Johars and the Chopras yet its Bhagat’s riveting narration filled with wit and sarcasm that makes this book so engaging till the end.

Chetan Bhagat’s biggest USP is his innate knowledge on human psychology and that is something which strikes the right cord among the readers in spite of this run-of- the-mill story. There is sheer Indianness and vulnerability in the lead characters. The title itself generates curiosity and might make you wonder if it’s “Friends with benefits Part 2” . But No! It is a completely opposite scenario and an interesting one as a matter of fact. Language is lucid and situations are relatable. Subplots like marital violence, philanthropy adds to its gravitas. I personally liked the depiction of class and status difference in Indian society. That aspect is portrayed with subtle humor without getting overtly melodramatic.

Still at the end of the day “Half Girlfriend” remains a looming Bollywood screenplay where you can hear background scores in form of drums and violins being played towards the end while reading the climatic portions of the book. Yes! It gets too corny, larger than life and unrealistic in the last few pages but its Chetan Bhagat’s impeccable writing that makes you root for the predictable boy-girl re-union. Certainly it’s not the best of his works and I feel he should move out of his done-to-death territory of puppy love stories. Yet this messiah of Contemporary Indian fiction won’t disappoint you with his “Half Girlfriend”. It’s worth a weekend read!





Aparna Nair

The author is an employee of Technopark and has penned the book ‘Kabhi Love Bites Kabhi Love Bytes’


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